Review: “May I Kiss You” with Mike Domitrz

October 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

I came into the performance not knowing exactly what to expect, except to hear a lecture about sexual assault and respect for your partner. I was interested to see how he would add humor to such a heavy subject and how he would tie the “May I Kiss You?” message into the overall schema.

After he opened with some hilarious role-playing between members of the audience that were ‘on a date’, what really hit home was when he proposed a theoretical situation at a party with two characters, Jordan and Erin/Aaron (he made sure to use gender neutral names). Jordan was very obviously giving Erin/Aaron too much alcohol and nobody else at the party raised any red-flags at the situation. We later learned that this theoretical situation was all too real and that this was the very story of his sister’s rape.

His advice to all of us? The safety of others IS our concern and if we’re too afraid to confront someone ourselves, the best thing that we could do would be to gather other people and come into the situation as a group. There is power in numbers, and we have the power to prevent this from happening in the future.

Not only did he give us advice on preventative action in a party situation, he also gave us some advice on respect within the dating spectra. He asked the question, “Why don’t we ask before we kiss someone?”. Some of the answers from the audience were, “That’s super awkward,”, “Nobody does that,”, and “They might say no,”.
He explained to us that everyone has the right to choose whether they want to become romantic with someone or not, even if it’s just a kiss. If we don’t ask before we do something, we’re not giving the other person a choice in the matter and we’re stating that it’s okay to do something to another person’s body without their permission. Asking not only confirms the other person’s approval, it actually ‘makes the moment’. He gave us an example from The Notebook (which I’ve never seen, so I have no idea what the characters’ names are), where ‘John’ asks ‘Mary’ for her permission before he does anything, and apparently the entire female population in theaters across the world uttered a sigh of romantic bliss. I guess it’s a proven fact that asking is a good idea in more ways than one.

But what if they say no? His answer was remarkably simple – so simple, in fact, that it astounded me that none of us in the audience had thought of it before. All we have to do if someone says no to our inquiry is to say, “I’m glad I asked so I didn’t make you feel uncomfortable.” That was a ‘light-bulb moment’ for me during the presentation – it just made sense.

Overall, it was a good show and I’m glad that I took the time to go and see it. I actually learned some helpful hints and a new perspective on dating, which is hard for any speaker to do on such a cliché subject such as respect. I will now proudly wear my wristband that states his powerful motto, “Ask First – Respect the Answer.”

For more information, go to http://www.doyouask.com and read more about Mike Domitrz and his message.

— McKenzie Kline

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